MTA To Run Older Trains While New Fleet Of Subway Cars Is Fixed

Kristie Keleshian
January 09, 2020 - 6:47 pm
New York city J subway train

iStock / Getty Images Plus

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — City transit officials announced a solution Thursday after nearly 300 new subways cars had to be pulled from service over door issues.

A total of 298 new subway cars, an entire fleet, is being evaluated after an investigation found the car doors would stay open about four inches while the trains were operating.

Andy Byford, New York City Transit president, says that issue alone was enough reason to pull the fleet.

“You don't withdraw a fleet lightly, but I saw enough to say to me, 'I want this whole fleet checked and we'll put in old chains instead of the 179s,” he told reporters.

He says the MTA still has questions for Bombardier, the manufacturer of the cars, and is holding the Canadian company fully accountable for the door malfunctions.

Byford cited three incidents dating back to Christmas Eve when the doors would stay open during rides.

The fleet was pulled from service on Tuesday.

“Bombardier originally informed us that they believed the complete, full inspections of every 179 car can be completed within a matter of days,” Byford noted.

The fleet was just weeks after an investigation by the City Comptroller’s office found that nearly all of the new trains were delivered to New York years passed the deadline.

In the meantime, the MTA will run the older, less reliable R32 cars on the affected lines — which have been in service since 1964.